black twin cities
the twin ci)es, our way Nov/Dec 2010
Robyne Robinson “rocks” ROX Minneapolis jewelry
Celebrate more, p.22 STRESS FREE!
Your Holiday p.27 The SCENE: Terry Menu, YUM! McMillan visits the Twin
Secrets to Surviving a Healthier Holiday. YES, you can do it!
black twin cities magazine
Celebrate More OFen!
Easing the stress of entertaining at home
Secrets To Surviving A Healthier Holiday Enjoying the fes?vi?es without feeling deprived
Photo by Mia Holmes
departments 08 editor’s note 09 contributors BEST Health, Beauty & Fashion
BEST Arts & Entertainment
BEST Eats & Treats
BEST Counseling & Spirituality
BEST Service Companies
BEST News & Community
The COVER Model/Talent Robyne Robinson, rox minneapolis roxmpls.com
Photographer Regina Woolson,
Regina Woolson Photography ReginaWoolson.com
Hair, Makeup, Wardrobe Styling & Art Direc)on Anika Robbins,
Anika & Friends AnikaandFriends.com firstname.lastname@example.org 1-‐877-‐88-‐ANIKA
Are you doing BIG THINGS in the Twin Ci)es? Get on the cover of Black Twin Ci?es Magazine and become the face of Black Twin Ci?es! Send us an email at info@blacktwinci?es.com to be considered.
Digital Edi)on available online issuu.com/ BlackTwinCi)es
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editor’s note Voted by YOU for YOU From the very ﬁrst issue of Black Twin Ci?es Magazine, I knew we would have a “Best Of” issue…an issue that allows the readers and Facebook fans to nominate and vote for their favorite black businesses and events in the Twin Ci?es Well, the votes are in, you chose and chose well! From Beauty Shops and Restaurants to Churches and Doctors. We poured through your nomina?ons and tallied your votes to come up with this guide to the Best of Black Twin Ci?es!
La Juana Whitmore | Owner, Publisher, Editor-‐in-‐Chief La Juana is the owner of Black Twin Ci?es & BlackTwinCiKes.com, and a business process consultant for a Minnesota-‐based, Fortune 500 Company. La Juana is also one of the co-‐hosts of Black Twin Ci?es Radio. Photo by Regina Woolson Photography ReginaWoolson.com
I LOVE this issue, I saw some old favorites and learned of new businesses taking the Twin by storm. This is what Black Twin Ci?es is all about, celebra?ng, congratula?ng, helping, announcing, promo?ng, educa?ng, loving, learning and growing, As I said in the last issue (and yes, it’s worth repea?ng), “It takes all of us to support our businesses and events. We must all take the ?me to think BEFORE we purchase. Buy from black-‐owned companies, go to events that bring our community together, adver?se on websites and in publica?ons that are owned by and targeted to us!” Use this issue as your directory to the best we have to oﬀer. I know I will!
Become a Fan on Facebook! Facebook.com/BlackTwinCi?es Follow us on Twifer! Twifer.com/BlackTwinCi?es Nov/Dec 2010
contributors Mark A. Wingo, Writer (A.K.A Mr. Wingonomics) Mark is the owner of New Beginning Financial Group, LLC (NBFinancialGroup.com), oﬀering ﬁnancial products, services, and educa?on to average middle-‐class families in the Twin Ci?es area. He is also the creator, President & CEO of Wingonomics Companies, a mixture of companies such as: Wingonomics Produc?ons -‐-‐-‐ Radio, T.V and Movies & Wingonomics Publishing -‐-‐-‐ Books, Magazines, and Online Newslefers. Tye Green, Writer Tye is an award winning screenwriter, song writer and poet and has been sharing her ero?c poetry with her adorning fans for over ten years, both on stage and online (TyeGreen.com). Tye is also the creator, director, co-‐writer and execu?ve producer of the much an?cipated TH3M!, a TV series following the lives of seven diverse women striving for success, acceptance, and understanding (watchTh3m.com). Charlesa Dixon, Writer Crea?ve Director of Excellent Occasions (ExcellentOccasions.com), Charlesa is one of Midwest’s most crea?ve & innova?ve event producers. Since star?ng Excellent Occasions in April of 1993, Charlesa has had the opportunity to work with other na?onally acclaimed event planners; including Celebrity Event Guru Colin Cowie and renowned Wedding Designer, Mindy Weiss. Charlesa has also produced events for many Fortune 500 companies yielding her the acclama?on of being one of the “ Top 25 Corporate Event Planners” in the 2010 Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Lorrie Insisiengmay, Writer Fitness professional & model, mar?al ar?st, performance ar?st, media produc?on, voice-‐overs, show host, mo?va?onal speaker…just a few of the things that belong on Lorrie’s résumé. As a business partner for EIRO Research (EiroFitLorrie.ieiro.com), Lorrie is helping the Twin Ci?es get ﬁt physically and ﬁnancially. To Lorrie, “ﬁtness is what you do to make yourself perfect, whole, and complete... eat, exercise, sleep, and breath”. Contribu)ng Photographers (where noted) Regina Woolson -‐ Regina Woolson Photography -‐ ReginaWoolson.com Mia Holmes For adver)sing, contact: La Juana Whitmore, 612.293.9282, info@blacktwinci)es.com
Black Twin CiKes magazine is published bi-‐monthly by La Juana Whitmore, DBA Black Twin CiKes, 612.293.9282. Unless otherwise requested, submi[ed materials become the property of Black Twin CiKes. Statements, opinions and points of view expressed by the writers and adverKsers are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the publishers, or Black Twin CiKes. We cannot assume liability for any products or services adverKsed herein. Black Twin CiKes assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited materials. All rights reserved. © 2010 Black Twin Ci)es. All rights reserved. Reproduc)on in whole or in part without prior wriken permission is strictly prohibited.
health, beauty & fashion Best DOCTOR or MEDICAL OFFICE:
CRUTCHFIELD DERMATOLOGY CrutchﬁeldDermatology.com Dr. Charles E. Crutchﬁeld III, M.D. is a na?onally renowned physician and author. As one of the “Best Doctors in America”, we’re proud to know that he calls Minnesota home! Oﬀering everything from acne treatments to one-‐hour face liFs, Crutchﬁeld Dermatology is THE place to go for whatever ails your skin. – La Juana Whitmore
Best BEAUTY/HEALTH PRODUCT (or Company):
ANIKA INTERNATIONAL COSMETICS AICosme?cs.com Fresh, fashion forward and aﬀordable, AIC is a “sleek skin care and cosme?cs company designed for global women on the go”! Formulated to complement a variety of skin types and complexions, Anika Robbins has created a company for every woman! But the men are not forgofen, the recent launch of MANtra skin care promises to keep everyone’s bathrooms stocked with ANIKA! -‐La Juana Whitmore Nov/Dec 2010
CLOTHING/ACCESSORIES Company (or Designer):
ROX MINNEAPOLIS Roxmpls.com “Stunning” is the word that comes to mind when describing Rox Minneapolis jewelry. And believe it or not, Minnesota legend, Robyne Robinson, makes these remarkable pieces by hand in her Minneapolis studio. Robyne, who has been making jewelry since she was a pre-‐ teen has found a way to turn her true passion into her next amazing career. Quickly becoming a worldwide sensa?on, Rox Minneapolis has been featured in several na?onal publica?ons, on the Tyra Banks Show and at New York Fashion Week. Rox Minneapolis is sold in bou?ques throughout the Twin Ci?es, Chicago, New York, and Athens, Greece. – La Juana Whitmore
Best BARBER SHOP or HAIR SALON:
JUST GLAMOROUS SALON & SPA (651) 222-‐7566 Boas?ng some of the best stylists, massage therapists, and nail techs in the Twin Cites, Just Glamorous Salon & Spa in St. Paul is more than just a place to get your hair “did” it’s been called “relaxing and professional” by it’s clientele. With over 30 years of experience and catering to women and men with all hair types and textures, Just Glamorous is your spot to get GLAMOROUS! -‐La Juana Whitmore Nov/Dec 2010
healthy living More Informa)on: The American Council on Exercise® is a nonproﬁt organiza?on commifed to enriching quality of life through safe and eﬀec?ve exercise and physical ac?vity. Learn more at AceFitness.org
Turkey, ham, chiferlings, dressing, gravy, greens, spaghev, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, cranberry sauce, coleslaw, home-‐made bufered rolls, not to men?on cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream, and eggnog. Close your eyes! Visualize these delicious dishes spread across the tradi?onal holiday table cloth, with silverware and served by don't forget the cutest most adorable grandmother EVER in her favorite white holiday sweater! Mmmmmm! YUM!!! Now, all of the foods men?oned may not be foods that you eat Nov/Dec 2010
during the holidays. But they are the seasonal selec?ons stretching endlessly across the United States. I remember all of the fun, passing plates and doing the table-‐side-‐shuﬄe, scooping my favorite spoonfuls on to my plate. Then, even as adults, sivng at the kiddies' table laughing, having fun, and catching up. From the golden roasted turkey to all of the bufer-‐laden foods, holidays are the most fes?ve ?me for families to share each other's company while inges?ng unhealthy calories and adding unwanted pounds. Running four hours straight at a moderate pace, swimming ﬁve
hours, or walking 30 miles are examples of what a 160 lb. person would have to do to burn oﬀ an average holiday meal of about 3,000 calories. Indulging during the holidays is acceptable, as long as it's done sensibly. But many people don’t just stop at the meal; snacking throughout the day can easily increase those 3,000 calories up to a total caloric intake of about 4,500. Without having to spare your taste buds from all the deliciousness, here are some secrets that you can use to be able to plan and balance during the fes?ve season. 14
-‐Have more to eat less. Ea?ng about ﬁve
small meals throughout the day is befer than starving yourself for that one big meal. Smaller por?oned meals throughout the day will keep a sa?sﬁed feeling longer without leading to overindulging or gorging on that special meal.
-‐Don't skip the most important meal.
Breakfast s?ll remains the most important meal of the day, even during the holiday season. Ea?ng breakfast is a great way to rev up your metabolism. So, wake up and eat! -‐Have a drink before you eat. Alcoholic beverages have hidden extra calories, some?mes sugars, and are also dehydra?ng. Grabbing a cold glass of water may not seem as thirst-‐quenching in colder temperatures as in warmer ones, but the body s?ll needs water. Keep that water bofle close by and stay hydrated throughout the day. And of course, wash that holiday meal down with a tall glass of water. -‐Talk it over. Instead of having a plate of fafening food in your hands while you are socializing and catching up with your family and friends, hold a glass of water or a plate of veggies. Plus, not having a mouth full of food helps in making great conversa?ons. -‐Walk it oﬀ. Instead of staying in the kitchen with the table and all the tasty treats at arm’s reach, start new tradi?ons by being more ac?ve. Build socializing around ac?vi?es instead of just ea?ng. Going for a walk, building a snowman, bowling, ice-‐ska?ng, or even doing karaoke as a new holiday event can be fun. -‐Work it out. Working out on a regular basis with cardio and strength ac?vi?es, even during the holidays, will help to balance out the caloric intake and help reduce hunger sensa?ons. -‐Inhale to exhale. Holidays can be stressful, Nov/Dec 2010
even with good planning. Take ?me for yourself, at least ﬁve minutes to de-‐stress. When things get a lifle out of hand, step back. Take a deep breath. Laugh. Just think, whatever the situa?on is, ﬁve years from now it probably won't even mafer. -‐Balance. Balance is the key. Don't forbid yourself from indulging on your holiday eats, sweets, and treats. Just be sensible, realis?c, and balanced. Obesity has become an epidemic across the United States and other countries. Although ea?ng is one of Americans past ?mes, don't let the holiday be just another occasion to add to this epidemic. Changing your body for the befer over the holidays is a challenge, especially when there are lots of cookies, cakes, and pies staring you in the face calling your name. So, DON'T GIVE IN!!! Keep your progress moving forward during the holiday fes?vi?es. 15
arts & entertainment Best MUSICIAN, SINGER or RAPPER (Solo/Group/ Band):
MintCondi?onMusic.com Who remembers listening to Prefy Brown Eyes, U Send Me Swingin, and What Kind of Man Would I Be? Those are the jams! And the more recent Nothing LeF to Say shows that Mint Condi?on is s?ll hot! Most of their ballads have been on many “baby makin’” cds. Or am I just speaking for myself? It’s been two years since their last album, and hopefully they are in the lab gevng ready to mesmerize and make us fall in love all over again with their fabulous RnB tunes. – Tye Green
Best EVENT, CONCERT or MUSIC PROMOTIONS COMPANY:
BACHELOR BOY ENTERTAINMENT BachelorBoyEnt.com Andre "Debonaire" McNeal heads up Bachelor Boy Entertainment which “specializes in bringing its customers the best in quality entertainment, via concerts and special events, at a variety of restaurants and entertainment centers within the Twin Ci?es”. Truth is, you'd be hard pressed to afend an event that Bachelor Boy Entertainment is not a part of. And, if you’re looking for the best in upscale happy hours and hot club nights, BBE has you covered. Only for the grown-‐n-‐sexy, they are doing it, and doing it, and doing it well! – La Juana Whitmore Nov/Dec 2010
Best CLUB DJ:
DAN SPEAK If you haven’t heard of Dan Speak, you’ve been hiding under a rock. This DJ has been spinning for 20 years! For those of you rock hiders that s?ll don’t know who he is, you can check out Dan Speak on KMOJ 89.9FM on Saturdays from 6PM to 10PM doing the Throwback Throwdown. If you s?ll can’t get enough of the famed DJ, check him out Friday and Saturday nights at T’s Place; each night having its own ﬂavor. If you go on Friday, you’ll hear what Dan calls Electric Relaxa?on – New ﬂavor hip-‐hop, RnB, and Dancehall. On Saturdays, he takes you back Old School with tunes from the 60’s to the 90’s. Then you’ll see why Dan Speak is voted Best CLUB DJ of the Twin Ci?es. – Tye Green
Best MUSIC EVENT or CONCERT:
2010 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS MNBlackMusicAwards.com From sold out seminars to a red carpet walk rivaling a Hollywood premiere, the 2010 MBMAs were FABULOUS! A 12-‐year hiatus brought this ceremony back with a vengeance, and headliners Mint Condi?on were no disappointment, topping oﬀ this 30-‐year anniversary of the Minneapolis Sound with some sweet, sweet icing! As plans for next year’s even bigger event are underway, I’m planning my paparazzi-‐ready ou}it as well (click, click). – La Juana Whitmore Nov/Dec 2010
Best NETWORKING EVENT or GROUP:
FIRST FRIDAYS TWIN CITIES FirstFridaysTwinCi?es.net “First Fridays Twin Ci?es is the independently owned local chapter of First Fridays, serving Urban-‐American professionals in the Twin Ci?es for over 14 years” Keeping it fresh by featuring diﬀerent venues and formats each month, First Fridays will put you in touch with black urban professionals from all industries and from all areas of the Twin Ci?es. If you’re looking to have your virtual rolodex ﬁlled to capacity, First Fridays is the place to show your face. – La Juana Whitmore
BLURBETTE Blurbefe.net “Blurbs, Rants and Ramblings on poli?cs, entertainment, feminism, ethnicity, love, rela?onships and all that jazz”, Blurbefe.net will entertain and inform like no other. Not for the faint of heart or easily oﬀended, Blurbefe tells it like it is, or at least how she sees it. She’s never ‘scurred’ to voice an unpopular opinion, or give you a very personal glimpse inside the world of Blurbefe. Give her a month and you’ll laugh, cry, curse and “all that jazz”. – La Juana Whitmore 18
Best AUTHOR: TYLISE CAMPBELL TyliseCampbell.com Book clubs all over the Twin Ci?es are gevng hooked on Tylise! From growing up in North Minneapolis to studying Theater Arts at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Tylise has blossomed into a crea?ve talent like no other. Her second novel, The Breaks, takes you behind the scenes and into the lives of three friends working in the music industry. And if all she’s accomplished isn’t enough, this dynamic young writer and poet has recently launched her own publishing company, Next Up. – La Juana Whitmore
Best PHOTOGRAPHER/ PHOTOGRAPHY COMPANY):
BRM PHOTOGRAPHY MNPartyPix.com
With an impressive client list and a gorgeous por}olio to back it up, Mr. Benitez Rosario Ma?as (BRM), founder and CEO of MNPartyPix can capture even your special moments beau?fully. This guy does it all: Weddings, Press, Events, Editorial, Senior Portraits, Fashion, Ar?st & Models. Hey, “it’s your party…” how do you want to remember it? -‐La Juana Whitmore
TERRY MCMILLAN VISITS THE TWIN CITIES Crazy, Sexy Cool is how we’d describe the one and only Terry McMillan! With the release of her latest ?tle, Gevng to Happy, Terry honored the Twin Ci?es with a visit, some laughs, and a few words of wisdom. Follow her on Twifer (@MsTerryMcMillan) for a voyeuris?c look into the mind of this literary legend. -‐TerryMcMillan.com
Anika & Friends Presents: All Washed Up Grand Opening Anika & Friends…at it again, event planning and celebra?ng! And BTC was on the scene at the grand opening of All Washed Up. Shantae Holmes’ dreams of business ownership came true to music by KMOJ and a host of community members and VIPs! AnikaandFriends.com
entertaining Celebrate More Ooen
Easing the stress of entertaining at home By Charlesa Dixon
Perfec)on is overrated: The best par?es are not the ones that are ﬂawless. They are the gatherings that happen at the last minute, when friends drop by without enough no?ce to design a fabulous environment or clean the carpets. There is a certain charm & style to happy imperfec?on.
We should all celebrate more oFen par?cularly with the holidays around the corner. There is always a reason to celebrate, whether it’s the change in season, or a new job, or just the fact that you like wine! In those moments we have permission to put aside our diﬀerences for a few hours, to laugh and talk and fest together. In doing so we gain a sense of life’s preciousness and our own good fortune. A larger, more structured gathering such as a wedding might require a special venue and fancy catering, however, your home is the perfect place to create a beau?ful mosaic of in?mate, vibrant moments and memories with friends & family. Entertaining at home is a very personal ac?vity, and each gathering you host should be a reﬂec?on of your gracious style, whether it’s a holiday feast or a quick aFer-‐work get-‐together. And while perfec?on is not the goal, it’s amazing how sprinkling in just a few crea?ve details will help make your next party an excellent occasion.
Use it or Lose it:
In keeping it real, the real world consists of work, family errands, projects, church and all the other commitments that compete for our ?me. Hos?ng a party of any size can sound serious, ?me consuming, and possibly scary. With this in mind may the following ?ps will encourage you to celebrate big, and with a lifle extra panache, during this holiday season. Entertaining at home can and should be enjoyable enough to make you want to do it more oFen. So raise a glass, grab some inspira?on, and let’s get this party started! An Invita)on to be Crea)ve -‐ Keep the invita?ons casual and easy. A phone call will actually do nicely, as will a simple handwrifen or computer printed card, or an electronic invita?on such as the ones from evite.com or bluemountain.com. For a more formal party, I recommend keeping some basic tools on hand, such as Nov/Dec 2010
A great reason for using the good stuﬀ: Did you know that ﬁne silver tarnishes much faster when it sits unused? If you enjoy it on a regular basis, it won’t need constant polishing. Just don’t put it in the dishwasher! rubber stamps, decora?ve scissors, monogram s?ckers, ribbon, etc. But if the idea of having to create something from scratch is holding you back from having a great party, skip it and get to tex?ng! Prepare to party-‐ A lifle planning goes a long way. Whether you’re looking to host a formal dinner or you just want to make it easy and have folks over on short no?ce, keeping a fully stocked home bar and “party closet” lets you pull an event together with less eﬀort, less running around and more ?me for a bubble bath before people arrive! Welcome your guests with food and drink-‐ Have simple, delicious hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine (provide a non-‐ alcoholic oﬀering as well) wai?ng for them near the door or on a kitchen counter when they arrive. This way, if you have any last-‐minute prepara?ons to make, they can visit with you— or each other—while enjoying a
snack and a sip. Try new things, but not all at once-‐ If you’re like me, you probably enjoy experimen?ng with new ideas for drinks, recipes, especially décor. But doing too much can make for stress in the hours leading up to your guest arrival. My advice: you may have an “S” tafooed to your chest but this is not the ?me to play the hero. Try one or two new things for each party, supplemen?ng with more familiar elements (a classic cocktail or a family recipe). To track your successes, keep a party journal. Write down what works and which ideas were favorites, and you’ll begin building a great resource of party inspira?ons. Make space to mingle-‐ Clear any clufer, making room to roam and provide adequate— but not excessive—sea?ng for a cocktail hour. This will help keep the social energy bubbly, fes?ve, and comfortable. For a casual get-‐together, add a few 23
oversized throw pillows near a sea?ng area to create a relaxed vibe. Ligh)ng is magic-‐ No other element of décor makes more of an impact on the mood of a party. Think about it have you ever visited a chic nightclub or roman?c restaurant in the day?me? With the harsh overhead lights on, you see every ﬂaw, and the spell is broken. When the light is right, people look and feel wonderful and the magic is in full eﬀect. If your party is in the evening, I recommend that you eliminate overhead ligh?ng and switch on ﬂoor and table lamps to create a textured glow throughout the space. Consider replacing bulbs here and there with soFer rosy tones or more drama?c shades of red, amber, or even blue. And of course, the more candles placed in groups or in long rows on windowsills, the befer. When hos?ng a day?me event, let as much natural light into your space as possible—or just move the party outside into the sunshine! (Believe it or not you can even do this outside in the dead of winter, just rent heaters from your local party rental store). Use color as a tool-‐ Like ligh?ng, color is a transforma?ve party design element. But you don’t have to repaint your house or reupholster the couch to give Nov/Dec 2010
your living space a new look. Adding colorful pillows to the couch or a bold runner and napkins to your dining table is an instant way to renew your space. Feel free to vary your design color between rooms, but for the most design bang, highlight no more than three main colors in any party space. Mixing too many colors (unless you’re in a garden) will lessen the impact of each. Get fresh with your décor-‐ Look around and see things in new ways. Flip silverware upside down. Mix and match plates. Make ﬂower arrangements in various cups, ?ns, or champagne glasses. Turn a vase on its side or turn it on its head and use it as a pedestal for a buﬀet, as a candle holder or display stand. Use mirror ?les, candy, stones or a dense layer of petals as a runner. Use things that are familiar in new ways and it will capture your guests and showcase your personal style, which will be remembered long aFer the party. Invite new people-‐ Of course we all have our short list of folks we like to invite to any get-‐together. But don’t be afraid to invite new friends or acquaintances and seat couples or best friends separately at a dinner party. You and your guest might very well ﬁnd your social network growing.
A Few of Our Favorite Things: white plates and napkins, prefy glasses, colorful vo?ves, and simple pillar candles…Combining basics with unique accents lets you tailor your table to the occasions and theme.
Serving it Up: You can never have enough plafers and oversized bowls. Most chefs would agree that, in general, food looks best on a simple white plate, and the versa?lity of white makes it a wonderful tool for changing the look of your table. Just add a few colorful elements (such as place mats, runners, and napkins) and you can create many diﬀerent moods.
Giving Thanks: Print out quotes by your favorite writers, ar?st, poets and thinkers. Fold them and put them in basket or pail to be passed around the dinner table or room. Each person takes a quote and reads it aloud to the group, sparking conversa?on and ﬁlling the moment with the spirit of shared thankfulness. continued on next page
Dinner Interac)ve: Instead of making resolu?ons, celebrate saying ‘goodbye’ to the old and ‘hello’ to the new. Place to vessels on your dinner table/coﬀee table (use glass vases, silver bowls, or gold urns). Make a sign or label for one vessel that says :Out with the OLD” and another that reads “In with the NEW” Set out blank slips of paper at each guest place-‐sevng and encourage folks to write down their “outs” and “ins” and place in appropriate bowls. Then later you can burn the outs or take turns reading the slips & enjoy talking laughing, and being inspired! Don’t forget! The entrance and the bathroom (aka the exit) are the places that are overlooked the most when it comes to an event. The entrance is the very ﬁrst thing people will see when it comes to your style, your personality and your party. Make a statement, make sure it’s invi?ng, and let everyone know they are entering your atmosphere. Now, be aware that some of your guest will spend some quality ?me in your bathroom (yes, I know), but someone will, so make sure it is well stocked, clean and comfortable. Keep some smell goods going and spruce it up by adding a nice design element.
Never Too Much: There is no such thing as too many candles! Even in the summer?me if you have no air condi?oning, the soF glow of candlelight will make your hot, sweaty guests glow like steamy, sexy golden gods & goddesses. blacktwinci)es.com
A Cocktail Party is a Cocktail Party-‐ The most important thing to remember about hos?ng a cocktail party is that it’s not dinner. It’s meant to be an easy, fun and relaxed get-‐together for you and your guests, and should be able to be done on short no?ce. Keep foods bite–sized and ﬂavor-‐packed, and if you want to serve something sweet at the end, make it simple and light. You can start earlier rather than later (if you’re hos?ng on the weekend, I recommend beginning at ﬁve or so in the aFernoon, as it allows for other plans aFerward). For weeknights, work schedules make it impossible for anyone to arrive much before six o’clock. But that s?ll provides for ample party ?me and an early night for those who must work the next day.
The Simple, Stunning Approach-‐ I’m not encouraging ﬂawless home entertaining here, rather, I’m oﬀering you an invita?on to celebrate life more oFen and to spend ?me with the people you care for; toas?ng and tas?ng the wonderful ﬂavors nature (and your kitchen) has to oﬀer. The simple, stunning vibe is just that —it highlights the “less-‐is-‐more” approach to décor, limi?ng colors for more visual impact and limi?ng waste wherever possible. Simple, stunning party recipes feature wonderful ingredients in straight –forward prepara?ons to let ﬂavors sing. And by combining homemade and store-‐bought items in fresh, easy and elegant presenta?ons, you can lessen your workload, relax and enjoy your company.
Scale it Down:
Present lush dishes in smaller, cocktail-‐style sizes, and narrow down drink choices to make planning & your budget easier. If you just oﬀer wine or champagne, consider marking guests’ glasses with colorful mini-‐bows to avoid mix-‐ups. 25
eats & treats Best CATERING COMPANY:
JOCIE’S FAMILY AFFAIR CATERING JFACatering.com Sweet Creamed Corn, Oven Fried Chicken, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Roast Beef, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Peach Cobbler, Four Cheese Macaroni…is your mouth watering yet? I know it is! If you want professional service, a beyond friendly staﬀ and food to die for, then Jocie’s Family Aﬀair Catering is the company to call for your next party, recep?on or corporate event. DELICIOUS! – La Juana Whitmore
WEST INDIES SOUL WestIndiesSoulfood.com Can’t make it to the Caribbean? No worries mon, the Caribbean is here in Minnesota! A Twin Ci?es gem since 1973, West Indies Soul is spicy, savory and truly a departure from the usual, bland Minnesota fare. With dishes from Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago as well as Southern Soul Food, West Indies Soul will warm your heart and ﬁll your stomach with tradi?onal ﬂavors and homed-‐cooked favorites. -‐La Juana Whitmore 26
your holiday menu SHRIMP & CRAB BISQUE with PARMESAN CROUTONS By Charlesa Dixon
Make 10-‐12 hors d’oeuvre-‐size servings You can serve this creamy soup in lots of diﬀerent ways. In the Holiday Toast, I use it as an hors d’oeuvre, presented it in elegant small glasses, but this recipe can serve up to six as an appe?zer before a meal, or for a main course (try it over rice). • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, heads on • 6 tablespoons bufer • 1 cup chopped yellow onion • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped roughly • 1 chopped red bell pepper, seed and ribs removed • 4 cups chicken stock • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes • 2springs tarragon • 1 bay leaf • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper • ¼ cup ﬁno sherry • ¼ cup Grand Marnier • 2 tablespoons of ﬂour • 1 pound lump crabmeat • 16 ounces light or fat-‐free evaporated milk • Salt & pepper • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish • Parmesan Croutons, for garnish Nov/Dec 2010
Peel, devein , and rinse the shrimp, then pat them dry, chop them into small pieces, and set aside. Reserve the shells. In a large stockpot, melt the bufer over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté un?l it is tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add carrot, bell pepper, garlic, & shrimp shells and sauté for another 8 minutes, un?l all the veggies are soF. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, tarragon, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper. Carefully add the sherry & Grand Marnier,
& s?r. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes. Strain the mixture into a clean pot and place it over medium heat. Add ﬂour slowly, using a whisk to s?r, and simmer for another 5minutes. Add the shrimp and crabmeat and cook for another 5 minutes. Take the pan oﬀ the heat and add the evaporated milk, s?rring to incorporate. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Garnish with Parmesan Croutons & top with a sprinkle of cilantro. 27
FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE By Charlesa Dixon Serves 8 Prep: 15 MIN Chill: at least 3HR • 1quart fat-‐free half & half • 1 box (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding and pie ﬁlling (4-‐serving size) • 1tsp ground cinnamon • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream • 2Tbsp sugar • ½ tsp vanilla extract • Garnish ground cinnamon You’ll also need… • 13x9-‐in baking pan • eight 8-‐oz glass Irish coﬀee mugs or other 8-‐oz mugs Whisk half & half, puddings mix & cinnamon in a large bowl 2 minutes. Pour into baking pan; cover & freeze at least 3 hours, or un?l frozen hard. About 20 min before serving: Beat cream, sugar & vanilla in a medium bowl with mixer on high speed un?l s?ﬀ peaks form when beaters are liFed. Refrigerate un?l ready to use.
Put coﬀee mugs in freezer. Remove mixture from freezer; leave at room temperature 15 min, or un?l it can be cut into large cubes. Place in food processor; pulse un?l smooth, scraping down sides occasionally. Divide among chilled mugs. Top with whipped cream; sprinkle with cinnamon & serve. 28
CRANBERRY MOJITOS Serves 12 Prep: 10 MIN
By Charlesa Dixon
• 1Tbsp grated lime zest • ½ cup lime juice (about 4-‐5 limes) • 3 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves • ½ cup sugar • 5 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled • ¼ cup grenadine • 3 cups club soda, chilled ice cubes • Garnish: mint sprigs and/or lime
Note: Prepare the drinks just before serving, as the mint will darken if made ahead. In a blender, combine lime zest & lime juice, mint & sugar. Cover & pulse un?l mint is chopped. Pour mint mixture into a large pitcher. Add cranberry juice & grenadine; s?r to dissolve sugar. Gently s?r in club soda. Pour over ice cubes in glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs.
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service companies Best WEBSITE/GRAPHIC DESIGN COMPANY:
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Best FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY:
NEW BEGINNING FINANCIAL GROUP NBFinancialGroup.com New Beginning Financial Group is the ﬁnancial company that not only invests money into the community, but also invests ?me educa?ng people on how to manage their ﬁnancial future. Star?ng as a mortgage company in 2006, New Beginning has evolved into a full service ﬁnancial en?ty. What makes New Beginning Financial Group diﬀerent from the compe??on is that they provide each and every client a free membership with helpful resources and tools to help jump start change in your ﬁnancial life. – Mark A. Wingo (aka Mr. Wingonomics) Nov/Dec 2010
news & community Best COMMUNITY or ACTIVIST ORGANIZATION:
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Best NEWS OUTLET (In Print or Online):
INSIGHT NEWS InsightNews.com What is a local community without a news publica?on? A community that is uninformed. Insight News is the leader in providing the community with news to keep us knowledgeable about the world and our local communi?es. The newspaper and website is ﬁlled with informa?on that will educate, s?mulate, and change your way of life. You can receive informa?on about community events, employment & housing opportuni?es and entertainment in your area. The most inspira?onal thing about Insight News is that you can always rely on seeing local people who are making posi?ve contribu?ons to improve the Twin Ci?es. – Mark A. Wingo (aka Mr. Wingonomics)
This organiza?on is all about change. Their mission is to build a culture of achievement in a geographic zone in North Minneapolis to ensure that all youth graduate from high school college-‐ready. We praise this organiza?on for taking ac?on to close the achievement gap between African-‐Americans and whites in Minnesota. For the Northside Achievement Zone/Peace Founda?on to succeed we all must understand that we can help by teaching our children at a young age the importance of an educa?on and by providing a safe environment for them to excel. This group is blazing the trail for real change to take place and giving people an opportunity to succeed at home, at work and with their ﬁnances. They are providing the founda?on for community members to have a fresh start and begin building a befer Northside. – Mark A. Wingo (aka Mr. Wingonomics) 33
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